Last night (22 November), the shortlists for this year's Costa Book Awards were announced, with six nods for Penguin Random House books over four categories.
The awards, which honour some of the most outstanding books of the year written by authors based in the UK and Ireland, are split into five categories - First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book - with one of the five winners chosen as Book of the Year, announced at an awards ceremony in London every January.
Amongst those up for the First Novel prize is Anne Youngson, a former executive in the motor industry, who started to take writing more seriously after taking early retirement. After completing an MA in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University, she wrote Meet Me at the Museum, which was published by Transworld this year. A deep and luminous story focusing on an unexpected friendship, the judges celebrated the book, calling it ‘A warm and well-observed story of love in later life, unexpected friendship and the ties that bind.’
Upon hearing she'd made the shortlist, Anne talked about how she wants to inspire others like her to explore the world of writing, commenting: 'I find writing so therapeutic, a way to make sense of life, that I want other people to take up writing. And hopefully it can push more people towards publication.'